A group of researchers at The Crypto Fam have linked price manipulation to bitcoin’s bear market, suggesting that the arrival of institutional trading allowed investors to dump oversized holdings of digital currency. According to a new theory, it is no coincidence that bitcoin’s long unwind began on Dec.

17, the same day that bitcoin futures were launched. Over the next several months, the bitcoin-dollar exchange rate would fall from a high near $20,000 to a low of $5,980.

The rapid decline was aided by futures trading, which allows traders to short assets much more easily. As we’ve written before, shorting bitcoin was practically impossible prior to the launch of futures.

The theory posits that institutional money was stocking up on bitcoin well before Dec. 17, likely in anticipation of the CBOE/CME futures contracts.

The bear market that ensued consisted of three major down moves, with the third leg beginning earlier this month. Each down move follows a similar pattern: (1) a fake-out dump, (2) a failed rally and (3) a major dump. Read more from hacked.com…

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